Starting next week, people can apply for permits to snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park without a commercial guide this winter.

The 2018-2019 lottery opens Wednesday, Aug. 1, and will run until Aug. 31 on Successful applicants will be notified in mid-September.

During the winter, roads in Yellowstone are open to over-snow travel only, meaning the only way to access the park is by a commercially-guided snowmobile or snowcoach.

The Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program was authorized in 2013. It allows one group of up to five snowmobiles to enter Yellowstone from each of its four winter entrances per day.

Anyone who obtains a permit via the lottery will have to be 18 years old on the first day of their trip into the park. All snowmobile operators must possess a state-issued driver's license and complete the Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certification Program, which is available for free online.

Trips can be a maximum of three days in length, and permits cost $40 per day with an application fee of $6.

Unclaimed or cancelled permits will be made available via on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Oct. 9. Cancellations may occur throughout the winter season, so the park service recommends checking the website often for openings.

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